A good example is the lion and hyena. The Lion The lion is traditionally thought of as an apex predator in southern Africa. The Hyena On the flip side, the hyena is traditionally thought of as a scavenger. However, it has been found that many hyenas hunt for most of their food.
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However, neither is a pure predator or scavenger. They are opportunistic carnivores. If one researches almost any apex carnivore, one will find they are a mix of both. So, it doesn't really makes sense to group T. Like most carnivores, it was probably a mix of both. How much it hunted vs scavanged will never be known. However, science tells us T. Below discusses some of the preditor traits T. Although the skull is slightly crushed, one can see the eyes clearly look forward. This is a key trait of most active hunters. Physical trace evidence of T. There have been many dinosaurs found with tooth marks, tooth pieces, and bite marks from T.
A study of T. There have been many digested dinosaur bones found at fossil T. Bite and scrape marks from T. This means they ate each other! However all of this evidence simply shows T. However, a paper by DePalma et al , studied a T. The interesting thing about this embedded tooth is the tail vertebra began to heal over. DePalma's team believes the T. Besides the sparse trace evidence of predation, one can study the actual anatomy of T. Looking at the various specialized body parts suggests it was a well designed predator. The jaws had the strongest bite force of any land animal ever.
Paleontologists argue these overly strong jaws and solid teeth would be ideal for capturing and holding struggling prey, even a large hadrosaur or triceratops.
The dinosaur has foreword facing eyes, not eyes on the sides of the head. Foreword facing eyes gives an animal depth perception and is a key trademark of predators. As we now know, the tail of T.
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This is Figure 2 from McCrea et al. The full article with more images is here: doi In a paper was published by McCrea et al. The interesting about this trackway is that it was made by 3 Tyrannosaurs next to each other at the same time McCrea et al, This shows some kind of "gregarious" or social behavior, which lends credibility to Tyrannosaurs hunting in packs.
Figure 2 from Carbone et al This shows the average time a T. What it shows is by time the T. Instead of looking at the actual fossils, another team Carbone, et al. They looked at T. Carbone and his teams intensive study looked at the mass and abundance of each carnivore and herbivore that coexisted with T.
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They looked at their population densities and related it to a modern day ecosystem to calculate number of large carcasses available for T. They contend that smaller, more abundant carnivores would have quickly consumed carcasses, and that large carcasses would have been rare Carbone, et al. The results suggest T. None have been found.
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Predatory evidence from studying the anatomy of T. In light of this research, it seems clear that T. However, like apex preditors today, it probably exhibit both predatory and scavenging behaviors.
Just how much T. What is known is that T.
Casts of Jane, a nanotyrannosaurus, and Pecks Rex, a tyrannosaurus. Today, paleontologists realize that juvenile dinosaurs do not look like their adult counterparts. Besides the drastic size change, the skulls and other bones morphed and changed shape. Sometimes the youngsters look nothing like the adults. This makes determining a juvenile species of a particular dinosaur very difficult. In the past when different looking skulls were found, they were named a new genus and or species. Now, paleontologists have the daunting task of determining which species are valid and which species are simply juveniles of an already known adult species.
A good example is famous ceratopsian, Triceratops. Back in the day, there were 16 species of Triceratops. Today, there are only 2. The other 14 "species" turned out to be juveniles in different stages of growth. This juvenile vs adult issue might also be present in T. The problem is there are not enough fossils to study. Adult T. In Charles described a skull of a small theropod that was eventually named Nanotyrannosaurus lancensis.
This small skull was long and slender with many small sharp teeth.
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Later, in , a nearly complete specimen of N. The fact that no juvenile T.
Some paleontologists took a second look at Nanotyrannosaurus. They studied the holotype and concluded it was in fact a juvenile T. Much of this was based on age determination of the fossil. Other paleontologists studied the skull and came to the conclusion Nanotyrannosaurus was its own species and not a juvenile T.
Much of this was based on the fact that a closely related species Tarbosaurus bataar of Asia did not lose teeth as they aged, but for N. The debate still goes on today. The problem is there is simply not enough study material to validate any assumption. Other "juvenile" specimens have been found. Unfortunately, they are in private collections and are unavailable for study. Juvenile T. This means they probably occupied a different ecological niche than their adults. But is Nanotryrannosaurus a juvenile T. For now, Nanotrannosaurus lancensis is officially a different species than Tyrannosaurus rex.
The debate will not be settled until new fossil specimens are found and studied. An illustration of Yutyrannus huali, the giant feathered tyrannosaur that lived in a colder climate and over 60 million years earlier than T.